Connacht prepare for avenging Scots’ visit to the Sportsground

Connacht’s Bundee Aki breaks through the tackle in Connacht’s win over Munster on New Year’s Day.

Connacht’s Bundee Aki breaks through the tackle in Connacht’s win over Munster on New Year’s Day.

Connacht cannot afford to take the eye off the ball despite celebrating one of their most significant wins of the season last weekend.

 The Munster victory has been saluted and analysed, but Connacht now need to continue that successful home form when Edinburgh arrive for tomorrow evening's pro 12 fixture  to the Galway Sportsground.  

  While some commentators have started talking of Connacht as a top four team, the club is not getting carried away.

"We have a long way to go," says coach Pat Lam.“We have to stay focused on the goals, and we have a big game against a team that just knocked off one of the top teams [Glasgow].”

Unable to enjoy the festive season with games on both St Stephen's Day and New Year's Day, the squad enjoyed a night out to celebrate only their second victory over Munster in 42 meetings, were given three days off, and it was back to business on Monday to prepare for the the visit of Edinburgh on Friday.

“It was great to have three days off and not see these guys,” says Lam. “You cannot underestimate that the Christmas was a busy time for us, so it was great to have time off. But after the game the boys all said it and we said it again his week, we must park Munster, we have a big game, and we  have to be even better against Edinburgh.

"You just need to look at round one when they out-muscled Munster in Thomond Park. They have been up and down, but they show on the their day that they are a hard team to beat and we are fully prepared for this important game."

 Edinburgh are coming seeking to avenge Connacht’s early season victory in the Scottish capital, and they too are buoyant after a historic triumph in the 1872 Cup against local rivals Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

 “Certainly more physical than Munster,” says Lam. “Their game plan is direct, with big runners and a couple of big South African boys. We are glad we had an-eight day turnaround because we need to get energy back to match it again.”

 Earlier in the week several players were out of action, including Aly Muldowney, bedridden with a chest infection, hooker Tom McCartney with a stomach bug, and outhalf Craig Ronaldson who was following concussion protocols.

 Back training were Andrew Browne, veteran Michael Swift (concussion protocols ) and prop Ronan Loughney (back ) who are available for selection this week.

“We are fully prepared for a tough game. It’s an important game, and we  are hoping to get a good crowd again.”

With the Scarlets continuing to breathe down Connacht’s neck for sixth position, now is the time for Connacht to continue to look ahead not back.

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